September 20, 2008
Hi-Tech Helpers for Docs
DOCTORS and nurses are to use hand-held computers to write and read patients' notes.
Bosses at NHS Lothian have bought 100 of the devices for their hospitals after a trial at St John's in Livingston, West Lothian.
Officials are confident the "mobile clinical assistants" will mean better care for patients.
NHS Lothian medical director Dr Charles Swainson said: "By reducing the time spent on administrative tasks, they allow clinicians to spend more time with patients."
Bosses say the computers reduce the need for filing and make notes easier to find.
But some patients' leaders fear the new technology could lead to vital data getting lost.
Jean Turner of the Scotland Patients Association said: "Anything that gives nurses more time to do their job is to be welcomed but some patients will suspect this is a gimmick.
"Patients are still horrified about things said about them in notes, particularly about their character, and this system won't solve that problem.
"Another of their concerns is about data loss. I hope this is trialled properly before it is rolled out and patient response is taken into consideration."
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